Amway back to business in state

The Times of India/October 1, 2006

Hyderbad: Amway India dealers will now resume their business operations in the state after the Andhra Pradesh high court on Friday granted injunction to the company against CID proceedings.

The court, in its order, ruled that prima facie the provisions of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (banning) Act of 1978 does not apply to Amway and ordered police not to interfere with the lawful business of Amway and its distributors, Amway's corporate communications head Rajat Banerji said speaking to reporters on Friday.

Banerji defended Amway saying a domestic dispute of one of its distributors had snowballed into the controversy. CID initiated action against Amway based on an FIR lodged by one Satyanarayana following which nine Amway offices were sealed by the police.

"Satyanarayana was settling personal scores with his wife, an Amway distributor, Lakshmi, who had earlier filed a dowry harassment case against him for which he was jailed," Banerji said.

"Satyaranayana was only taking revenge on his wife and concocted a complaint against his wife's colleagues — other Amway distributors including her sister and brother-in-law that they were forcing him to get people for dealership. Satyaranaraya is not a distributor so no one can force him to do anything.

As the police were already investigating the activities of some other multilevel marketing companies, they just pounced on the complaint. No official of Amway has been named in the FIR," Banerji clarified.

Lakshmi's sister and brother-in-law were arrested but on Friday, they were granted bail.

Reacting to the raids, Amway's senior legal manager, Yoginder Singh said, the unannounced police raids were a nasty surprise for the company.

"We strongly condemn the manner in which the investigations were conducted, given Amway's credibility and stature. They should have asked the company for a clarification first," he said.

The Amway representatives defended some of the other allegations against the company as well.

They said, contrary to some reports, Amway was not forcing anyone to join the distribution and it is not a money circulation scheme.

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